Story at a glance

  • Several automakers expect a yearly fuel efficiency increase of about 1.5 percent.
  • Under the Obama administration, car manufacturers were required to hit a 5 percent annual increase in fuel efficiency through 2026.
  • The final rules could be released by late February.

The Trump administration is inching closer to rolling back fuel efficiency standards that were enacted by the Obama administration for new vehicles through 2026.

Reuters reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted proposed rules for gas mileage standards for 2021 through 2026 to the White House Tuesday. Final rules could come as early as late February or March.

As the Obama administration required car manufactures to hit a 5 percent annual increase in fuel efficiency through 2026, several automakers told Reuters they expect yearly fuel efficiency increases of about 1.5 percent under the Trump administration. 

In August 2018, the Trump administration proposed keeping fuel efficiency standards at 2020 levels through 2026, which would have resulted in standards of 37 miles per gallon by 2026, compared with 46.7 miles per gallon under the Obama rules. But officials told Reuters they would not finalize that proposal.

NHTSA said in a statement, “While the draft will not become public until the White House Office of Management and Budget completes the review and the rule is published, EPA and NHTSA firmly believe this rule will benefit all Americans by improving the U.S. fleet’s fuel economy, reducing air pollution, helping make new vehicles more affordable for all Americans.”

The administration claims the cuts in efficiency standards are necessary for safety and economic reasons, while opponents push back saying consumers would spend billions in fuel costs. 


Published on Jan 15, 2020